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What I’m going to say will probably scare anyone who likes to be organised – I haven’t written a single word of my assignment that is due tomorrow.  I have written some notes.  I’ve picked out key quotes that relate to cultural encounters and I’ve picked up on certain parts of the characterisation of the stories (I’m doing the short story option) and I’ve typed the question at the top of the page.

So, rather than go into the where’s and why’s of it not having been started yet, I’m going to do a wee bit of planning here on this blog.

The key words of the question are “analyse”, “cultural encounters”, “structure” and “characterisation”.

Looking at page 3 of the assignment booklet “analyse” means “to analyse a text or an argument is not simply to describe it, but to identify its most important elements, and to show how they work together to produce a certain effect or support a certain conclusion”.  This means that my quotes, while interesting, are probably not quite enough detail; my job here isn’t to quote the piece, but to say what parts of the quotes give the final impression of the stories.

Each story is obviously about a cultural encounter, or possibly even more than one encounter, so that part is sorted… but I’m being asked to look at how these are played out.  Well, to prevent plagarism (or accusations of plagarism) I’ll leave that part for my essay.

The short stories chapter discusses “structure”.  It highlights certain forms that are worth looking at in the text – voice, dialect, register, time and rhythm and structure (sound familiar?).  It gives quite a lot on the structure of “In Cuba…”, so I want to find new things in that text.  But “Mr Sumarsono” has not been looked at, meaning I can pick out what I like.

Characterisation was brought up back in the Faustus chapter… but what effects do the authors use to give their characters personality?

Okay… time to start writing this essay, I think.

Wish me luck!